Title: Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him
Author: Fmr. Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván
Release Date: May 3, 2011
I still can’t quite explain what made me pick up Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. Perhaps it was Tuesday’s lovable face on the cover, staring right at the reader. Perhaps it was the image of the dog tags hanging out of his mouth. I think it may have been the subtitle. A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. How could a dog have saved a warrior?
Until Tuesday is the honest, emotional, and powerful story of Former U.S. Army Captain Luis Carlos Montalván and his service dog, Tuesday. Montalván, a seventeen year veteran, served two tours of duty in Iraq. He returned from the war only to face an entirely new war: one with his own body and mind. Suffering from a terrible back injury and a traumatic brain injury as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Montalván spiraled downhill after his return. Secluding himself from the world as a result of his PTSD and accompanying agoraphobia, Montalván found himself haunted by the war and by the reactions of those around him.
Montalván was matched with Tuesday thanks to ECAD (then East Coast Assistance Dogs, now Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities). One of the group’s objectives is to match veterans with service dogs. After detailing Tuesday’s early life, as well as his own experiences, Montalván details their time together and the incredible effect Tuesday has had on his quality of life.
I was highly impressed with Until Tuesday. Not only do readers get a first-hand account of PTSD and what it can do to a soldier, it’s also a look at service dogs and the integral part they can play in someone’s life. Aside from his eighty commands, Tuesday knows when Montalván is flashing back or becoming anxious. He can sense whether he is awake or asleep. He knows to stay on the opposite side of the room if Montalván has a crippling migraine without being told. Until Tuesday is eye-opening, well-written, and inspiring. With Tuesday’s help, Montalván has turned his life around and become an advocate for veterans and the disabled. In writing this book, he has cast a light on parts of our society many would rather keep hidden or ignore. He demands more from America’s systems, while remaining hopeful that these changes are possible and showing that, in spite of everything he has been through, he is patriotic and believes in his country. Montalván is intelligent, brave, and inspiring.